Tasmania has launched a new app called the Roadkill Tas allowing people to report roadkill sightings so that hotspots can be determined. A donation from a zoo in North America has facilitated the development of a new Tasmanian smartphone app for reporting roadkill sightings.
This app is free to download and is designed to make it easier for Tasmanians to report roadkill, using GPS to enable people to record the precise location of any sightings.
It was made possible through a $20,000 donation from the Tasmanian Devil Ambassador Program at Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in Indiana in the United States. The app was developed by New Zealand-based company Thundermaps and will be trialled for two years.
Features of this app
Launched last year in December 2017 this app makes reporting native wildlife roadkill easy. By using this app, and following the instructions and disclaimer, you can report what roadkill you have seen, when and where.
It also collects data in real-time and this helps understand where roadkill hotspots are for a variety of wildlife species. This will assist with adaptive management and mitigation techniques to try to reduce the amount of roadkill on Tasmanian roads.
You can thus report information quickly, with the precise location – even when you’re offline.
It was advised that if you are making a roadkill report, be aware of your surroundings and safety. Do not use this app while driving.
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You can also upload images using the app. While photographs help paint the bigger picture and verify species, they are not compulsory. Only take a photograph if it is safe to do so.
According to Environment Minister Elise Archer the app would help “paint a picture” of roadkill hotspots across the state. “Driving on the roads comes with the risk of hitting and killing wildlife and information will assist with management and mitigation techniques to try to reduce the amount of roadkill on Tasmanian roads and protect our threatened species,” Ms Archer said.
“There is a need for consistent data collection to help develop a greater understanding of roadkill hotspots, as well as the species involved.” Ms Archer stressed that the new app should not be used while driving.
Save the Tasmanian Devil Program team leader Sam Fox said the Roadkill Tas app would allow Tasmanians to “work together” to solve the state’s long-standing roadkill problem.
About the Roadkill App
The app has been developed by Thundermaps (an app development company) with support from the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program (STDP) and Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, a member of the Tasmanian Devil Ambassador Program.
It aims to make reporting roadkill easier and enables users to record sightings of a variety of native wildlife species, including Bennett’s Wallabies, Pademelons, Quolls, Tasmanian devils and birds of prey such as Wedge-tailed Eagles.
The Roadkill TAS app, which will be trialed in Tasmania for two years, uses GPS technology and provides members of the public with the means to record where they see roadkill and to indicate what type of wildlife has been killed.
The app has the capacity to choose from the full suite of wildlife expected to occur across the State near roads – this includes birds of prey, with capacity to indicate additional information such as electrocution from power lines and evidence of mange in wombats.
The information gathered through the app will help enhance the capacity of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program, the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, other Departments and land managers to identify roadkill hotspots and will inform where mitigation measure can be applied to reduce the risks to wildlife.
The Roadkill TAS app will complement the already existing roadkill mitigation strategies employed across the state by road managers including government departments and local councils, to try and reduce the amount of roadkill on Tasmanian roads such as virtual fence devices, road signs and public education.
But remember everyone can help reduce the number of animals being killed on roads by taking care while driving at night and slowing down between dusk and dawn.
Reporting roadkill will help improve understanding of roadkill locations and data across the state for a variety of different Tasmanian native wildlife including: Brush-tailed Possum, Tasmanian Pademelon, Bennetts wallabies, Ring-Tailed Possum, Bare-Nosed Wombat, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Easter-Barred Bandicoot, Tasmanian Devil, Spotted-Tail Quoll, Eastern Quoll, Tasmanian Bettong, Long-Nosed Potoroo, Wedge-tailed Eagles, Short-Beaked Echidna and Platypus
The app includes a fact sheet with pictures and information about Tasmanian wildlife to help you report roadkill findings accurately. You can also go through this guide to understand about Roadkill and the animals.